The Girl Who Said Sorry
Hayoung Yim’s The Girl Who Said Sorry is the kind of book I wish I’d read as a child, and it is one I am so excited to give to my nieces as a way of telling them they should never apologize for who they are. The unnamed protagonist, a girl in a pink dress on page two and then a ball cap and jeans on page three, finds herself struggling to do what people want of her. After each paired struggle, “you wear too much pink,” and “you look too much like a boy” in this case, she says “sorry.”
As the book moves from clothing to weight to behavior, it addresses the issues girls, and even grown women, deal with on a daily basis. It is hard to navigate a world where there are many preconceptions about what a “girl” or a “lady” or a “woman” should be. Hayoung Yim’s book tackles this struggle, and the almost automatic reply of “sorry” in a powerful way.
Marta M.’s spare illustrations, black and white pencil drawings with a strategic use of color—primarily pink and blue—help to elaborate on the topic in their contrast of what women and girls do, and then how they are corrected on either side. When the book opens, and when it closes, the protagonist is wearing clothes in color, but in every other frame she is in black and white, a nod to the difficulty in figuring out who you are when everyone is telling you to be something different.
Published by Rhyming Reason Books in Canada, a blurb on the back of the book states “50% of the profits from this book will be donated to Girl Up, a United Nations Foundation campaign dedicated to empowering your girls to take action on global issues.” Just another reason I want to buy this book for every girl, and woman, I know.
Rhyming Reason Books